We ask you, who deserves some love more than your national sorority? These are women who work tirelessly day in and day out to make sure your organization puts its best foot forward, governing and advising upwards of nearly two hundred chapters at a time.
They’re the wizards behind the curtain. And though you may not see a lot of what goes on behind the scenes, without them you can be sure you wouldn’t be in Kansas anymore. You’d be on your own, stranded in Oz, with nothing but your little dog and some sparkly red shoes, singing “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”
You get the picture.
Having an open line of communication between your chapter and national sorority organization is a great way to show the love, makes their jobs easier and will vastly improve your sorority experience in the long run. Sharing feedback with advisors means there’s a real chance for your sisterhood to grow and prosper under their guidance.
Also, why wouldn’t you want to connect with nationals? It’s easier than ever these days. You’re hooked into your phone 24-7 anyway, communicating with family members, friends, classmates and everyone else under the sun. Sorority communication plays a key role in pretty much every aspect of chapter life, too.
No matter how you slice it, your national sorority is a lifeline you can’t afford to lose. It’s up to you to keep the line open. Thus, OmegaFi wants to give you our best tips on How to Better Communicate with Your National Sorority.
Go Beyond the Guidelines for Sorority Communications
This will be a balancing act, as you don’t want to overburden your national sorority by cluttering their email inboxes or calling them up every five seconds to ask them a question. But at the end of the day they are there to help your chapter succeed. If you communicate too little with them, it can lead to a poor understanding of their expectations of your chapter.
If you’re an executive officer in your sorority chapter, it’s important to focus on official communication first and foremost--such as chapter reports and payments. But when you contact national advisors to discuss chapter matters beyond the usual, have a game plan for what you want to discuss.
Let’s say you need some guidance on performing a joint initiation ritual with a chapter from out of state. Certainly this isn’t common by anyone’s metric, but the other chapter is in town for a sports event and you figure, why not? They’re one of the newer chapters and are still building their membership. You want to help out. But what’s the best way to go about this without stepping on their toes, and without them getting in your way during your initiations?
Nationals have seen a lot of colonies and chapters come and go. It may be uncommon to you, but maybe they’ve seen something like this before. Brainstorm with other executive officers and sisters and come to your advisors with a list of crucial questions that you can ask in an organized and efficient manner.
The joint initiation example might seem a little too uncommon to do you much good here. But you can access your national advisors for more common chapter concerns such as alumnae fundraisers, recruitment and chapter house concerns. They may have access to stores of statistical data and other knowledge and resources about the national landscape of your sorority that can help you succeed.
When You Communicate with Your National Sorority, Bring Ideas
If during an executive council meeting you’ve come up with a rough idea of some bigger project you want to take on as a chapter, but you’re having trouble knowing where to begin, talk to your national advisors. Bring them what you’ve worked on and hash it out. Your sorority doesn’t only want to hear about your problems and deposit your checks. They want to see the proactive side of your chapter with ideas that both you and they will be excited about.
You don’t have to only discuss these ideas over the phone or a computer screen. You can schedule leadership consultant visits and send your sorority president to the national leadership conference as a delegate, where she can discuss and improve your ideas for the chapter’s future. In-person visits also give you the added bonus of getting to know your advisors on a more personal level. After completing chapter business, you can take them out to dinner and socialize. A good personal rapport can only improve communication between chapter and sorority.
Sorority Communication Software Helps
Sometimes it takes a little bit more than the usual phone calls and emails to work through chapter business with national advisors, and even after in-person visits, the conversation on a project or idea isn’t finished. That’s when sorority communication software comes into play.
Beyond the typical social media interactions and text messaging, software can play a huge role in any aspect of sorority communication. How you connect with your national sorority is no exception. When you’re planning a large project with a lot of moving parts, consider a professional business communication software platform such as Slack. Slack or a similar communication platform will offer features such as live group chats, teleconferences and video conferences, document and media sharing, connectivity with a number of other apps and more.
For recruitment advice, consider logging nationals and alumnae in on OmegaRecruit where you can vote and chat about potential new members.
If you’re looking for communication software that’s more social, try a group chat program like GroupMe, where you can share information, pictures and videos of chapter events and simply get to know one another better. Shoot a few videos to give your advisors an idea of how rush week turned out, and be sure to send them plenty of pictures from the Founder’s Day banquet.
However you end up communicating with your national sorority, make sure you value their time and give as much as you take. Bring big ideas to the table and try to touch base when possible through official channels, in person and via sorority communication software. A sorority chapter is part of a larger, national network of sisters, and the relationship between the part and the whole is crucial.
What do you feel is the most important aspect of communicating with your national sorority? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.